One of the things that fascinates me about the watch industry is that there are so many watch brands out there, with so many watch models to choose from. Yet, most people (including myself) find them selves keep getting back to some of the obvious choices. At least the watches that I think that are very obvious. Our colleagues from the German WatchTime website did some research together with watch market platform Chrono24, to identify the top 10 most popular watches.
These watches are the most sought-after models on Chrono24, a website that has over 80 million pageviews a month. We show you the top 10 most popular watches on Chrono24, searched-for between January 2016 and June 2016 by people from German speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). New, pre-owned, vintage; there is no limitation set.
This Top 10 shows the models, not the exact reference number. So all watches (references) that refer to a specific model (Rolex Datejust for example) are included. We will get back with a more specific list in the future, showing the most popular reference numbers as well.
Since 1992, the Yacht-Master is part of the Rolex collection (a few Yacht-Master history lessons can be found here). It is a sports watch that belongs to the beach, or perhaps in the swimming pool or ‘near water’, but it isn’t a typical diver’s watch. This year, Rolex showed us a new Yacht-Master model in stainless steel and Everose gold. We did a hands-on article on the new Rolex Yacht-Master here.
At the end of the 1950s, Rolex came up with specific Datejusts for ladies. It is one of the Rolex models with the most ‘options’ when it comes to dials. The lady models also have the renown cyclops on the sapphire crystal and a chronometer certified in-house movement. These Rolex Lady-Datejust models have diameters of 26mm and 28mm. We show you a fine diamond paved model below.
In 1956, Rolex introduced the Day-Date. Also known as ‘Rolex President’ to many people out there, due to the fact that it was worn by many presidents of the United States. Also, there is a bracelet type that is called ‘President’. The Day-Date is only available in precious metals, not in stainless steel. The main feature of the Day-Date is, as its name suggests, the indication of the day and date on the dial. The Day-Date comes in 36mm and in 40mm. The 41mm Day-Date II has been cancelled after only a relatively short production time. We mentioned the Day-Date in many of our articles since 2004, but here is one on the 2013 introduced 36mm and one on the current 40mm Day-Date.
To break the top 10 most popular watches overview a bit from all the Rolex power, on #7 we find Omega’s Seamaster. There is the Seamaster Aqua Terra, Seamaster 300, Seamaster 300M, Seamaster Planet Ocean and Seamaster PloProf, but our colleagues from WatchTime decided to just label it ‘Seamaster’. Fair enough. We recently showed you the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M in titanium and the new Deepblack models, but we personally also like the Aqua Terra and PloProf watches quite a bit. I can imagine the Planet Ocean is one of the best sellers though. We show you the new Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT with black & white bezel.
My guess would be that the Submariner would be higher up this top 10 most popular watches overview, but WatchTime makes a distinction between the Date and NoDate version. The Submariner was introduced in 1954 by Rolex, the typical crown guard came a few years later in 1959. We did a timeline overview of the Rolex Submariner history here. The modern Submariner NoDate became popular again in recent years. The vintage NoDate models were always popular, reference 5512 and 5513 and even older references. The reference 6538 was the Submariner NoDate on the wrist of James Bond in Dr.No. Below the Submariner reference 14060M, reviewed by us in this article.
This watch needs no introduction here with our weekly recurring Speedy Tuesday installments. You can find an in-depth write-up on how the Speedmaster actually became the Moonwatch here. Another interesting article is this one, about which current model comes closest to the watch that was worn on the Moon. This hand-wound Speedmaster Professional is one of the most affordable watches from Omega’s current collection these days, which is a cool thing. Prepare to pay a lot for vintage models though. Here is our Speedmaster Buyer’s Guide, if you’re interested. Below an image of the popular Silver Snoopy Award, on a grey suede strap from StrapsByFleur.
Rolex introduced the Datejust in 1945. It was the very first automatic water resistant watch with chronometer rating, that could indicate the date. Important ingredients to this icon are the fluted gold bezel, cyclops and Jubilee bracelet. Of course, the watch is also available with smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet. However, I prefer the Datejust as below. Two-tone, gold fluted bezel and a Jubilee bracelet. There is nothing wrong with the stainless steel version with smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet of course.
The history of the GMT-Master is an interesting one, that includes the PanAm airlines. PanAm pilots and navigators needed a watch that had a second timezone and talked to Rolex about this in the 1950s. The GMT-Master history is something we covered in this article. In 1985 Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II, the model that is in this top 10 most popular watches. The difference with the regular GMT-Master is, that the GMT-Master II has an independent hour hand. The current GMT-Master II in stainless steel is not available anymore with a Pepsi bezel. The combination that made this watch so recognizable. However, Rolex decided to make it in white gold instead. For the lucky few. I personally like the ‘Batman’ version as well, stainless steel with blue and black colors.
I had a Rolex Submariner 1680 myself a couple of years ago, and it is one of those model that I regret selling. Below another example of the 1680, where the owner (all fingers point to Bert Buijsrogge) decided to replace the crystal with cyclops for one without cyclops. The Submariner Date is more in demand than the NoDate, despite the popularity of the vintage 5512, 5513 and the current 4-liner with ceramic bezel. I’ve seen it more often, that the majority of people demand a date window on their watch.
It doesn’t take a genius to guess the number 1 watch in this top 10 most popular watches. The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. We recently published an article on the 2016 model, with ceramic bezel, talking about the small but effective changes. The vintage Daytona models are even hotter of course, but often with price tags that are out of this world. Since this list is not about new watches only, we show you the Paul Newman version below. The hype for the Daytona seems to be back, waiting lists for the stainless steel model are being used by many retailers. Let’s see what the market will do on the previous stainless steel 116520 reference, that was in production for quite some years. An article with more Daytona references can be found here.
Personally, I would have done the work on the data a bit differently. As you have read above, all Omega Seamaster collections (Aqua Terra, 300, 300M, Planet Ocean etc.) have been consolidated as “Seamaster” while a distinction has been made between the Rolex Submariner Date and NoDate and GMT-Master II and GMT-Master for example. However, more interesting is the fact that this top 10 most popular watches is so heavily dominated by only two brands. The major brands out there perhaps, but still. Is there not much diversity or fantasy among the German speaking watch enthusiasts, or is it something else? Let’s have a look at the statistics part.
10 watches from 2 different brands in the top 10 most popular watches. I wish I had better news for you. It is not that strange, as approximately 24% of all searches on Chrono24 are for Rolex watches. Omega follows with a second place (almost 10%). Most of the time, the top 10 brand take up till about 60% of all searches. That leaves 40% for the +400 other brands that are on the market (485 different brands are offered on Chrono24). It is no wonder that the two major brands with so many different models easily make up for 10 models in the top 10.
If the information would be more specific, like price range, new or pre-owned only, etc. the percentages would be different of course. Giving you perhaps more diversity in the overview. However, for now, this is the uncensored top 10 most popular watches by Chrono24 visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more